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Lining a skirt with train?

simokon | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Greetings all. First post. Be nice.

I am preparing to sew my own wedding gown, likely using this pattern:

http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V2849.htm (Vogue 2849)

I skimmed the instruction sheet, and I notice that the skirt outer fabric and lining are supposed to be hemmed as one. (gasp)

Now for any other skirt, I’d cut the lining a little short and hem the layers separately (and maybe anchor them together with a few swing tacks). However, I’m making the view with the train, and I’m not sure how this would work. Should I have the lining stop at the floor and leave the train unlined?

Any ideas?


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Hemming the lining as one with the outer fabric isn't particularly difficult, unless they are suggesting you sew the hems together first before attaching the skirt to the bodice, which wouldn't allow you any alterations (not a good option on any dress, especially a wedding dress!)

    I haven't seen the instructions, but I'm guessing that at the hem, you treat the lining in the same way you treat the underlining--after stitching all three layers to the bodice, lay the two linings against the fashion fabric,cut them to the foldline of the outer hem (that you have had marked), fold the fashion fabric over it, and stitch the fashion fabric to the lining rather than to the inside of the fashion fabric.  This way, the lining and underlining take the weight of the hems, and the stitching doesn't show on the outer fabric.  This method also allows for last-minute changes--you can easily let out or take up parts or all of the hem if you change shoes or change sizes before the big day.

    Before you get ready to hem the dress, make sure you've hung it for a few days and are wearing your wedding shoes and foundation garments while someone else marks the length of the fashion fabric hem, as that will be the reference point for cutting the interlining and lining.

    It's a gorgeous dress--good luck!

    1. simokon | | #3

      Thanks for the feedback.I've learned over the years to be distrustful of pattern instructions because they seem to default to the easy way instead of the best way. I've now seen other sources mention sewing the lining and the skirt together at the hem.However.The pattern calls for using rather thin fabric (taffeta, peau de soie or shantung) while I was planning to use a heavier satin. I assume that the skirt is lined to give it some more body. Is it even necessary to line it if I'm using a heavier fabric? Given the fullness of the skirt, there will be some serious petticoats between the inside of the skirt and my body, so comfort is not an issue.

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        If the pattern calls for a thinner fabric, and you're using a stiff one, your results may not resemble the one pictured.  Or, you may find that using a stiffer fabric with a lining will eliminate the need for extra petticoats.  Don't forget that a heavier fabric may also need extra support to prevent it from pulling down on the bodice.

        If you can find a similar weight fabric on clearance to make up a sample skirt, you might discover the optimal solution for your wedding gown--and have a fun costume or party skirt in the bargain!

      2. maggiecoops | | #5

        Hi Simokon, I've made several wedding dresses over the years, many with long trains and a few with the medium train as in the pattern you gave the link to. All three fabrics suggested come in medium to heavy weights, for ease of making up I preferred the handling and weight of the heavy weight Peau de Soie, it doesn't have the high lustre of some satins but that's one of it's strengths. Shiny doesn't flatter, plus the peau de soie is more crease resistant, doesn't water mark, (steam irons can spit). I've always used net mounted on the main fabric to act as one layer,then lawn and muslin as the interlinings. I always made hem facings and horse hair braid to give the skirt bottom a clean hemline. the facings are stitched to the net or the interlinings and the lining then bagged by hand to the hem facing just below the top edge.  To make it easier for the bride I always stitched a thumb loop about 2" above the hem centre back, so when she was dancing she could support the train easily and show off the lining  as well. One very good reason for attaching the lining to the skirt and not leaving it hang free.

        To help support the weight of the skirt you  insert a hidden petersham waistband that is attached after the skirt and bodice are joined, you sew it to the structural layers of the bodice in the front, and through the interlinings to the seam allowances at the sides and to where the back bodice seaming or darts would be, then leave the rest free turning the ends under and attaching a hook and bar closure  when you put the dress on the hidden waistband gets done up before the zipper, the zipper should have a waist level support closure as well and that gets done up, then the zipper gets closed. The petersham hidden waistband takes the drag weight of the skirt, not the bodice.

  2. dressed2atee | | #2

    I used this pattern but mainly for the bodice.  I changed the skirt drastically based on a picture the bride gave me.

    However, I have sewn lining and skirts together before and the hemline and it is one of the easiest ways to hem such a full skirt.  If you follow the instructions and I don't think you will have a problem.  Check out Singers "Special Occasions" book it has great instruction and pictures.

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